Flying Car to Hit Market in 2017
Apr13

Flying Car to Hit Market in 2017

The October 2014 unveiling of a vehicle prototype by Slovakian company AeroMobil has been grabbing a lot of attention. In a world where the world’s most advanced auto makers are showing off some of the coolest vehicle prototypes in modern automotive history, this one is….different. It FLIES! Yes, you read that correctly. The long-awaited flying car is about to hit the marketplace and, for a mere several hundred thousand dollars (actual pricing has not yet been released), you can own one! Dubbed AeroMobil 3.0, the vehicle hits the market in 2017 and looks exactly like what it is; a hybrid of private airplane and performance sports car. On a single tank of gas, the vehicle has a range of 545 miles on the ground or 435 miles in the air. It speeds along the roads at  up to 99 mph and can hit a top speed of 124 mph in flight. The AeroMobil can take off and land in any flat grass field (it needs only 650 feet for takeoff and 160 feet when landing), negating the need for airports. The carbon fiber vehicle drives the streets with its wings tucked in and, when put into flying mode, the wings unfold and, in virtually no time at all, it is soaring leisurely over the world below. AeroMobil executives have begun sharing their vision for this prototype. CEO and co-founder, Juraj Vaculik, speaking about the future of flying cars, predicted that these vehicles would easily merge with existing transportation systems and achieve better efficiency, making travel over moderate distances much less tasking. Vaculik also mentioned a self-flying car being a possible future...

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CERN’s Large Hadron Collider Returning to Service
Apr02

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider Returning to Service

On February 14, 2013, CERNs’ large hadron collider (LHC) executed a maintenance shutdown following ground-breaking experiments that ultimately observed the elusive Higgs Boson particle the year before.  It’s now two years later and the facility is being brought back online; it is currently undergoing “warm-up” testing prior to returning to full service. Unlike the shutdown performed in response to a wiring fault in 2008, this maintenance period was planned well in advance. The LHC has a virtually countless number of individual parts, including 1232 superconducting, helium-cooled magnets. Statistically, every nut, bolt, and widget has a predictable lifetime and must be replaced prior to the possibility of failure. When the LHC is brought up to full capacity later this month, upgrades performed during the shutdown should empower researchers to break new ground in the study of particle physics. The improved magnets that keep high-speed protons on track, and the vacuum chamber through which they move, are estimated to support 13 TeraElectronVolt (TeV) collisions at start up, improved from the 8 TeV collisions that produced observable evidence of the Higgs boson. Engineers are predicting they will be able to increase performance even further – up to 14 TeV. These higher energy collisions are needed to test some fundamental hypotheses, such as supersymmetry — a prediction that every particle exists with a second partner particle. Evidence of supersymmetry is scarce, but the improved LHC may provide an opportunity to more closely observe particle decay after very high energy collisions, perhaps leading to insights about its existence. The higher energy collisions are also predicted to produce more exotic and elusive particles, which may indicate the composition of dark matter, a substance that does not emit any detectable light from the electromagnetic spectrum, but whose gravitational effects can be observed on a galactic scale. Unlike the Higgs boson experiments, these experiments are exploratory; firm predictions like the existence of a specific particle don’t apply. What CERN may find could be wholly unexpected, and it is that potential for a new discovery that keeps them pushing the limits of the...

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The New Energy Efficient Ride that Elon Musk Hates
Mar26

The New Energy Efficient Ride that Elon Musk Hates

Toyota has officially rolled out an affordable, eco-friendly car that can drive for 300 miles, takes less than five minutes to refuel, and comes with three years of free gas. It’s everything fans of zero-emission car culture could love, and the biggest name in electric cars hates it. Toyota’s Mirai (“future” in Japanese) will be one of the first mass-market cars to run on hydrogen fuel cells, where compressed hydrogen gas is converted to electricity, leaving water vapor as the only exhaust. As opposed to getting plugged in overnight, the sedan will need only about three minutes to get back to full charge. However the Mirai has found a surprisingly forceful critic in Elon Musk. The electric-car pioneer and founder of Tesla Motors has called hydrogen fuel cells “extremely silly,” with his main critique being that hydrogen is too difficult to produce, store and turn efficiently to fuel, diverting attention from better sources of clean energy. “The best-case hydrogen fuel cell doesn’t win against the current-case batteries. It doesn’t make sense, and that will become apparent in the next few years,” Musk said last month in Detroit. Bob Carter, a Toyota senior vice president, slapped back at Musk by criticizing his focus on battery-powered cars: “If I was in a position where I had all my eggs in one basket, I would perhaps be making those same comments.” Toyota has been adamant in its defense of hydrogen, saying it will give drivers faster refueling times and better range than the typical battery-powered electric car. While they are not the only automaker pushing hard on fuel cells, Toyota has been one of its biggest supporters, opening its more than 5,000 fuel-cell related patents up for free and saying it wants to build and fund new fueling stations, first in California and then stretching to the east coast. Although Mirai production began in December, Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, marked Tuesday as the official roll-out date. “For us, that date marks a new start,” Toyoda said. “This is not to reflect on the past, but rather to celebrate Toyota’s new start, where we take a fresh step towards the future.” At 300 miles, the Mirai offers the longest range of any electric vehicle on the market. However, to sell successfully in America, the cars will need a nationwide infrastructure for refueling. They make little sense anywhere else now but in California, home of the nation’s few existing hydrogen refueling stations and where tens of millions of dollars are being invested to build 28 more. Toyota plans to sell the Mirai for about $45,000 in the U.S., including approximately $13,000 in federal and California incentives. A dozen workers will hand-craft the cars without the use of a conveyor belt, producing only three a day.  The small-batch operation will roll out 700 vehicles...

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4 Wearables That Just Might Give You Superpowers
Feb24

4 Wearables That Just Might Give You Superpowers

Have you always dreamed of being a superhero? While the wearable industry is still dreaming up a multitude of functional designs, there are a few ideas that we’re really excited about. Augmented Muscles Kineseowear is a form of artificial muscle that can be programmed to react in a variety of ways. You could experience a quick trigger while on a run so that you know where to turn, or you might even be guided through the motions of a new dance. While it won’t be turning you into The Hulk, it could be ideal for correcting your form during yoga, weightlifting exercises, and other athletic sessions. Improved Control Have no motor skills? Ouijiband could be used to gently guide your hand and take the tremor out of your muscles, allowing you to experience better control than ever before. Whether drawing or perhaps even completing a surgical operation, you would be certain not to make any sudden movements. Not only could this help for a variety of technical skills, but it could be promising for those with diseases like Parkinson’s. Hidden Identity What’s a superhero without his or her secret identity? The Snapchat IRL could sense camera flashes and then create another flash, in order to make sure that you’re never captured by the paparazzi. Snapchat IRL would also enable you to talk to people in private in person — basically making it so that your clandestine activities cannot be photographed or eavesdropped. Better Hearing Have you ever wanted to just drown it all out? Lalala can isolate sounds for you and noise-cancel anything that you don’t want to hear. Often, the problem in listening isn’t that volume is too low, but instead that other ambient noises are interfering. Lalala could connect you to anyone, even in a crowded room, and ensure that you are able to pay attention to absolutely everything they have to say.   Of course, wearable technology hasn’t progressed very far yet — but who knows what’s to come in the future?...

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Leatherman Tread Puts a Spin on Functional Fashion
Jan29

Leatherman Tread Puts a Spin on Functional Fashion

The wearable tech industry is a new, fast growing segment of technology. With the ability to carry valuable tools around with us in portable form, it’s no wonder these gadgets generate a lot of excitement. Leatherman is wasting no time making waves in this trend, releasing the Leatherman Tread this coming summer. This intriguing deviation is unique within the industry: it combines the mobility of a wrist adornment with the utility of a multi-tool. The band comprises of a series of links, each providing 2-3 working tools, with over 25 distinct uses. The design is something quite ingenius. Not only is the bracelet completely adjustable, but it can be customized by re-building the links using a slot fastening system. You can put in or take out tools, shrink or expand the length, and even use the chain clasp to open bottles or act as a square driver. In addition, it includes phillips and flathead screwdrivers, hex drivers, more than one type of box wrench, a SIM grabber, and more. If the aforementioned features weren’t enough, the makeup of this handy device is molded stainless steel (via metal injection). That means you don’t have to worry about breakage, as is common with other small tools. While the naked bracelet is rugged and fun, there will also be an alternative available later this year: a quartz powered movement option. You might be wondering if this is TSA approved, especially if you’re a frequent traveller. The answer is yes. In fact, that idea was what prompted the original idea for this device: a useful all-in-one tools that would pass safety checks at airports. Leatherman’s new bracelet is slated to be available in stores and online in early May or late April, and the basic option (steel) should run $150. More expensive options could run as high as $200, $500, and beyond depending on the movement and material. One thing’s for certain: Leatherman has done their research and The Tread is posed to create an entirely new category for wearable...

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A Preview of Microsoft’s New Holographic Goggles
Jan23

A Preview of Microsoft’s New Holographic Goggles

Microsoft Corporation has been hard at work for several years developing their latest breakthrough in computing technology. Project HoloLens is a head-mounted holographic computer, similar to Oculus Rift, but with far more powerful capabilities. Project Hololens has an all-new interface—one that can be controlled by voice commands. For example, Project HoloLens (also known as “Baraboo”) has the ability to transport the user, via holographic display, to the surface of Mars. The user can “walk” on Mars and can even be joined by other users in different locations with all connected individuals being able to see and hear each other.  The possibilities for team-based simulations are almost endless. A possible real-world use for this device could take the form of virtual communication concerning the repair of a malfunctioning widget. In reality, the repairman could still be in bed in his own house, but, in the virtual reality world of Hololens, that person could be standing right beside you walking you through what you should check to determine the exact problem, even to the point of drawing virtual arrows and circles to show you what you should do to make the repair. Another feature of this technological marvel is the capability to allow the user to connect to all his or her devices/apps from wherever they happen to be at that moment. The holographic screen projects an image of said app into the air, allowing the user to “tap” the display the same way he or she would on a physical device. But wait… there’s more! Users will also have the ability to sculpt virtual toys, such as snowmen, Barbie dolls and Marvel action figures, and then print them out using a 3D printer. Rapid prototyping just took a huge leap forward. Project HoloLens works by allowing the brain to interpret light signals as matter. Light bounces around violently in what the designers have dubbed the “light engine” of the device. This light then filters its way into the goggle’s eyepieces, where it bounces between multiple layers of green, red and blue glass before finally entering your eyes. All of these “special effects” create the illusion of 3-dimensional matter. Microsoft plans to release Hololens in the spring of 2015. While Magic Leap, the Google equivalent, is expected to be released at approximately the same time, Google declines to comment on the progress of the gadget’s production....

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